I just returned from speaking for Nikon in Las Vegas at the 2020 Consumer and Electronics Tradeshow. This is the biggest trade show in the country, 175,000 come to the event. If you are a photographer, it is like a giant candy store. While you could get distracted by Jumbotron sized HD televisions (did someone say ‘squirrel’…I’ve never seen so many people staring into space) and Fitbit watches that store your earbuds, I went straight to the Nikon booth to see one lens…the Z 70-200mm F2.8 S.
Cree and I are both shooting mirrorless, and what we wanted most was that workhorse of a lens, the 70-200mm 2.8. After handling and trying out the lens for about 10 seconds, I knew this was a lens we needed. The lens feels and handles very similar to the current 70-200mm F2.8…zoom ring in front, 77mm filter size, removable foot. Autofocus was fast and accurate, even in the low light of the convention center. I couldn’t really do critical sharpness tests, but if you look at the MTF charts Nikon has released, it should be even sharper than the current 70-200mm F2.8. Is that even possible? Sharpness on the 70-200mm F2.8E FL on a D850 is stunning. I can only imagine that the new Z version will have even better edge and corner sharpness, similar to what we have seen on other S line lenses for the Z system. I can fully see doing some travel workshops using two Z cameras, one with the 24-70mm and one with the 70-200mm.
But that wasn’t all I wanted to see at CES. Enclosed in a glass case, like a faberge egg, sat the mighty D6. I almost fainted. While I really like mirrorless for some shoots, the D5 still reigns supreme in my bag for fast action and great balance on large telephoto lenses. And we still use D850s all the time, including using a vertical grip to bump the frame rate up to 9FPS for action and wildlife. The D6 should be officially announced soon…maybe the next few weeks. There is a ton of speculation on its features…stay tuned.
I also had a blast going to the shooting bay that had three Noct 58mm F.95. The first thing that surprised me was how hand holdable the lens was, and a nice fit for the Z system. They had Christmas lights behind the model, and manually focusing wide open produced bokeh unlike I have ever seen…truly remarkable. This is an expensive lens, but I heard the orders have been flooding in for this lens.
I watched a number of the presentations, which were excellent. One thing I love about speaking at trade shows is getting to reconnect with peers and watching their presentations…very inspiring and informative. What was interesting was hearing how photographers were using mirrorless and DSLRs in their work….most were using both systems. All the presentation were recorded and available to watch here. I highly recommend getting a cup of coffee and watching some of these talks, you will learn a lot, and it is free.
It is an exciting time to be involved in photography, there is so much innovation and new technology coming out. In the end, it should only help us create better images.